All-Ireland Football qualifier: Armagh 0-18 0-13 Meath

Meath's Donal Keogan and Armagh's Jamie Clarke
Jamie Clarke attempts to burst away from Meath's Donal Keogan at Croke Park

Armagh continued their rejuvenation as they defeated Meath 0-18 to 0-13 to set up an All-Ireland SFC quarter-final against Donegal.

Meath led 0-2 to 0-0 only for Armagh to respond with eight unanswered scores before the Royals hit back with five straight points of their own.

Meath levelled after the restart but Armagh regained control with a superb exhibition of counter-attacking.

Stefan Campbell produced an outstanding game which included three points.

Armagh's defensive system was once again almost impenetrable at a rain-lashed Croke Park, but the most impressive aspect of the Orchard team's display was their ability to break at speed and take scores.

Meath's handling left a lot to be desired and their unforced errors were punished on numerous occasions by an Armagh side greedy for turnover possession.

In addition to a strong-running short-passing game, Armagh showed an ability to hit the long ball into the attack, when the occasion warranted it.

Overall, it was a very impressive display by an Armagh side which showed that they have more attributes than merely being a solid defensive outfit.

Points from Andrew Tormey and Michael Newman gave Meath an early two-point lead but Armagh were ahead by the 14th minute after scores from Jamie Clarke, the lively Aidan Forker and Tony Kernan.

Some of Armagh's good work was threatening to be undone as they dropped a number of chances into giant goalkeeper Paddy O'Rourke's hands before Forker got Paul Grimley's side scoring again in the 18th minute.

As Meath were guilty of a couple of dreadful wides and taking wrong options in attack, Armagh hit four more straight points to lead 0-8 to 0-2 with the outstanding Campbell notching his first score.

However from looking completely out of ideas, Meath fought back in the five minutes before half-time as midfielder's Graham Reilly's introduction helped boost Mick O'Dowd's side.

O'Relly's 33rd-minute point cut Armagh's lead to 0-8 to 0-5 before David Bray and Newman hit further Meath scores in first-half injury.

Meath levelled on two occasions in the five minutes after the restart but Armagh refused to buckle as they quickly regrouped to regain control of the contest.

Aaron Kernan, playing in place of injured captain Ciaran McKeever, restored Armagh's lead on 45 and the advantage was suddenly five again by the hour mark after more scores by Mark Shields, the superb Campbell [two] and Kevin Dyas.

Campbell, after all his strong running, was substituted a minute later but his replacement Brian Mallon went on to notch two terrific points in the closing 10 minutes of action.

On this evidence, this well-drilled Armagh team will be no pushover for Donegal next weekend.



Armagh 0-18 0-13 Meath

Monaghan 2-16 2-14 Kildare [aet]


Donegal 0-10 1-05 Roscommon



Kerry 1-20 2-10 Galway

Mayo 1-19 2-15 Cork


Mayo 3-13 0-09 Armagh

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